KUALA LUMPUR: Both corporates and SMEs in the construction sector showed improvements in their respective overall indices in the latest Q2-Q3 2019 RAM Business Confidence Index (RAM BCI) survey.
Corporates construction sector exhibited an increase of 0.2 points – the only corporate sector of the five surveyed to have charted a better sentiment – to give an overall construction index reading of 53.2. This was led by a sharp uptick in their turnover and profitability indices (+1.2 points to 53.8 and +2.1 points to 54.2).
The sentiment among SMEs showed an even more significant turnaround, with the overall construction index rebounding from the previous negative sentiment reading of 49.7 to 51.2, attributable to a strong improvement in performance expectations.
The stronger business sentiment in this sector, in contrast with the largely sluggish disposition seen over the last few quarters, is mainly the result of a gradual resumption of public sector projects and more clarity in government policies in respect of these developments.
Despite the notable turnaround in the latest construction indices, the overall RAM BCI for Q2-Q3 2019 continues to indicate a subdued level of optimism in the next six months, with overall corporate and SME indices at 53.5 and 52.1, respectively.
According to the survey, the moderating trend is most stark amongst corporates which indicated continual dampened sentiment across the board in both performance and capacity building expectations.
However, the SME sentiment showed a notable reversal from the decline in the previous quarter, possibly attributed to a resumption of public sector projects and the commencement of goods and services tax (GST) refunds to smaller firms, which ease some cashflow pressure on SMEs.
Having said that, if organic growth prospects are not sustained, future sentiment among smaller firms could still wane.
Firms’ expressed reticence over capacity building remains the most prominent concern, as it could weigh on the momentum of economic growth and impact potential economic output over the longer run.
Although the respective sub-indices continue to record positive sentiment values of above 50, the latest survey shows that larger corporates have expressed considerably weaker intentions to expand capacity and commit to capital investments.
The RAM Business Confidence Index is jointly conducted by RAM Holdings Bhd and RAM Credit Information Sdn Bhd. Released quarterly, the index is based on data from a survey of close to 3,500 SMEs and corporates across five main industry segments respectively.
The seven business aspects surveyed are turnover, profitability, business expansion, hiring, capital investment, capacity utilisation and access to bank financing. An index value of 50 is the neutral benchmark while a value above 50 indicates positive sentiment by the firm; below 50 shows negative sentiment.
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KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — Business sentiment among corporates and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the construction sector showed nascent recovery in the second and third quarters (Q2-Q3) of the year, according to the latest RAM Business…
HONG KONG: Growing optimism that China and the United States will reach a trade deal lifted most Asian equities today while the positive sentiment also provided support to regional currencies against the safe-bet dollar.
The yuan was among the big gainers following a report that the US has called on China to stabilise the unit as part of any agreement between the world’s top economic powers.
Wall Street returned from a long weekend to provide a healthy lead as US President Donald Trump said trade talks – which resumed in Washington on Tuesday – were “going very well” but were “very complex”.
He also indicated he could put back the March 1 deadline for talks to be concluded – when US tariffs on Chinese goods are due to more than double – saying it is “not a magical date”.
Observers say that while there are no details about the negotiations the fact they are still talking and China appeared responsive to the call for yuan stability was good news.
Hong Kong rose 1% while Shanghai ended up 0.2% and Tokyo closed 0.6% higher. Seoul, Taipei and Manila each climbed more than 1%, Singapore put on 0.4% but Sydney slipped 0.2%.
The upbeat mood on trading floors gave investors confidence to buy higher-risk currencies, pushing the South African rand around 1% higher and Australia’s dollar up 0.7%. The yuan also climbed 0.7%.
The pound held its gains after strong British jobs and wages data, while it was also getting support from hopes that Prime Minister Theresa May could win changes to her Brexit deal with the European Union as she heads to Brussels later in the day.
While EU leaders have said they are not willing to bend on the agreement, analysts say there could be some movement that would help her push it through parliament and avoid a messy divorce that could hammer the British economy.
“The EU is showing some possible concessions about the timing of the exit, as (European Commission chief) Jean-Claude Juncker has said a delay beyond the European parliamentary elections in May would not be opposed, but the UK has to request it, which they have not done,“ said Alfonso Esparza, senior market analyst at OANDA.
In Europe at mid-day today, London’s FTSE 100, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 and Paris’ CAC 40 were all up 0.3% each. – AFP
KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended the day higher as stronger buying demand in heavyweights helped lift the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI).
At 5pm, the index finished 19.62 points higher at 1,726.18 from 1,706.56 at close yesterday.
After opening 6.27 points firmer at 1,712.83, the local index moved between 1,711.44 and 1,727.25 throughout the day.
A dealer said market sentiment was positive with investors optimistic that the latest round of trade talks between the world’s two giant economies would lead to a deal to resolve their tariff war.
“This positive sentiment is reflected in the stronger performance of Wall Street and spilled over into Asian stocks, with the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, up nearly one per cent to reach its highest level since Oct 2, 2018.
“On Wall Street, the S&P 500 index rose 4.16 points to 2,779.76, the Nasdaq Composite increased 14.36 points to 7,486.77 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was 8.07 points better at 25,891.32,” he added.
Among local heavyweights, Maybank rose four sen to RM9.52, Public Bank and Tenaga gained six sen each to RM25.06 and RM13.38 respectively, while Petronas Chemicals surged 26 sen to RM9.15.
Of actives, Sapura Energy inched up 1.5 sen to 32.5 sen, Hibiscus Petroleum gained three sen to RM1.08 and Bumi Armada was one sen better at 22.5 sen.
Market breadth was positive with 724 gainers and 252 losers, while 346 counters remained unchanged, 532 untraded and 20 others suspended.
Total volume increased to 3.82 billion units valued at RM3.26 billion from 2.80 billion units valued at RM2.36 billion transacted yesterday.
The FBM Emas Index increased 170.21 points to 12,040.78, the FBMT 100 Index rose 166.37 points to 11,897.51 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index jumped 197.45 points to 12,041.45.
The FBM 70 rose 330.74 points to 14,486.38 and the FBM Ace Index increased 37.58 points to 4,699.69.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index added 117.28 points to 17,783.73, the Plantation Index rose 96.12 points to 7,498.56 and the Industrial Products and Services Index bagged 2.64 points to 168.49.
Main Market volume was higher at 2.78 billion shares valued at RM3.03 billion from 1.87 billion shares valued at RM2.18 billion recorded on Tuesday.
Warrants’ turnover rose to 741.67 million units worth RM162.26 million from 609.05 million units worth RM120.56 million yesterday.
Volume on the ACE Market decreased to 295.17 million shares worth RM68.74 million from 317.97 million shares worth RM55.18 million.
Consumer products and services accounted for 316.42 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (309.21 million), construction (236.86 million), technology (161.16 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (73.74 million), property (220.06 million), plantations (63.60 million), REITs (16.38 million), closed/fund (24,800), energy (1.19 billion), healthcare (41.44 million), telecommunications and media (67.56 million), transportation and logistics (35.28 million), and utilities (51.02 million). — Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Bursa Malaysia ended the day higher as stronger buying demand in heavyweights helped lift the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI). At 5pm, the index finished 19.62 points higher at 1,726.18…
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 — Bursa Malaysia remained higher at mid-afternoon due to gains in heavyweights as market sentiment was lifted by higher US stock performance and optimism that China and the United States will reach a deal in their trade talks….